Sleep Paralysis – The Scariest Sleep Disorder
What Is Sleep Paralysis?
Sleep Paralysis is probably the scariest of all sleeping disorders. Sleep Paralysis is when a person’s having a nightmare and when they wake up from it, they can’t move. They can feel fear and terror in their body but they can’t talk, scream or move any part of their body. When they’re awake they start to have visions or hallucinations of spirits, ghosts, demons, aliens and other paranormal or supernatural things. When it’s all over, there’s a lingering eery feeling in the air.
People who experience Sleep Paralysis don’t usually tell anyone because the experience is so scary and bizarre they don’t want to risk sounding crazy or insane.
Sleep Paralysis Signs & Symptoms
These are some of the things people will say when they have sleep paralysis sleeping disorder:
- They have trouble sleeping
- They’re unable to move any part of their body
- They wake up throughout the night with a feeling that something or someone is in the room
- They try and scream out for help but no sound comes out of their mouth
- It feels like they’re being held down or smothered while they sleep
- They feel a heavy weight as if someone is sitting on their chest, making it hard to breathe
- They have visions and hallucinations that can include paranormal activity
- They wake up during the night with shear fright, panic and anxiety
- They feel exhausted and they can experience multiple episodes throughout the night
Sleep Paralysis is the most scariest of all sleep disorders.
People who struggle with common sleep disorders can experience exhaustion, moodiness and depression. Other side effects include poor concentration, headaches, backaches, memory loss and lack of motivation. Everyone needs to sleep because when you sleep your body kicks into self repair mode. Plus it helps recharge your energy for the next day. Sleep disorders are bad enough to deal with, but they don’t leave you feeling terrorised, like Sleep Paralysis disorder.
What It Feels Like To Have Sleep Paralysis
This is what it’s like to have Sleep Paralysis.
“Imagine you’re tired and you’re laying in bed and you drift off to sleep. You start to dream and you kind of know that you’re dreaming. The dream starts to get scary and you’re trying to wake up. You can feel movement on your bed as if someone’s sitting on your bed or moving your sheets, touching your face or hair. You try to scream but nothing comes out. You try and move your body but you can’t move. You can’t move your hands, arms, legs or even your head. You wake up and you can see everything in your room in it’s usual place, you’re in your familiar surroundings but, you still can’t move. You can feel the eery presence of something or someone in your room and you may even feel them sitting on your chest or smothering your face. It can feel like your suffocating, your chest feels heavy and you struggle to breathe. But, you can’t do anything to protect yourself. Along with the visualisations you smell the rot of death, you feel the dampness in the air. You can feel whatever is happening in your visions with all your senses. There’s nothing you can do. You’re stuck in the feeling of terror and anxiety. Until it’s over.”
It’s not just the visual dream that feels scary. It’s all these things put together; You want to scream but nothing comes out. You want to move but you can’t move your body. You feel paralysed but the dream’s still going on. You think you’re awake and you’re experiencing all of it as if it’s really happening. If that isn’t bad enough, as you start to come out of the dream you feel an eery presence in your room. It can feel like you have a ghost or spirit laying over you, or it’s smothering your mouth so you can’t scream.
If you try to scream or yell out for help, your voice is muted and nothing comes out. The sounds from your screaming are only internal. This creates even more desperation to escape but you can’t move. The visions can feel like you’re stuck in them for hours. Once the body paralysis is over and you’re fully awake all you’re left with is the feeling of fear.
Is this starting to sound spooky? Damn right it’s spooky. When you do wake up, you know it wasn’t just a dream. There were too many parts of it that felt real. Sleep Paralysis takes so much energy from your body that when you wake up from it all, you can easily slip back into sleep, even if you feel your heat beating hard and fast and adrenalin is running through your body. And then once you drift back to sleep, it’s happens all over again. It can happen many times in a row but it usually only happens within a specific timeframe during the night. For example you may be more prone to Sleep Paralysis between 10pm – 2am. It’s different for everyone and it depends when you transition through different states of consciousness.
What remains the same for people with Sleep Paralysis is that they can’t just wake themselves up and end it, like a nightmare.
If you haven’t heard of this before, is it any wonder? Who would want to share these experiences with others? Doesn’t it sound like a crazy person talking? People don’t want to share their experiences because it sounds like they are possessed or strange. By not sharing the experience it makes it even more intense because you’re the only one who knows what’s going on, making it easy to doubt what’s real and what isn’t real. Sleeping with a night light doesn’t help either. Some think if it’s not dark in the room, they can convince themselves that no-on else is in their room. Having the light on can make it feel even more real when you’re having visions and hallucinations.
Difference between Sleep Paralysis & Nightmares
What makes it different to a nightmare is the body paralysis, hallucinations and visions, inability to talk or scream and the state of consciousness. When you actually know you can’t move your body or scream out for help, you can’t protect yourself and you’re left feeling vulnerable.
The paranormal activity of hallucinations is more than an nightmare because it involves all your senses of sight, smell, sound, feeling and taste. You can hear doors opening or closing, footsteps, feel someone touching you or holding you down on the bed, you can hear scratching, smell rotting flesh and you can feel dampness in the air. You can even feel dissociated from your body, almost like you can float outside of your body. These things sound scary but experiencing it, alone, and not being able to get away from it, is literally terrifying.
How Sleep Paralysis Works In The Mind
What’s Actually Happening in Sleep Paralysis
What’s really happening in Sleep Paralysis is your mind is waking up from your sleep state before your body is awake. The combination of dreaming and the sensation of feeling paralysed while you’re awake creates hallucinations and visions that feel surreal and frightening.
Sleep Paralysis usually happens when you transition from being awake to falling asleep, this is called hypnogogic. It can happen when you’re asleep and transitioning to waking up, called hypnopompic. In other words, it happens when you’re shifting levels of consciousness.
Everyone goes through the stage of paralysis when they sleep, it’s called Atonia. This happens during REM sleep, (Rapid Eye Movement). During this stage your eyes flicker and you dream. Your muscles become relaxed, so you don’t move or speak. Most people are not aware of this stage because they’re asleep and unaware of body sensations.
Atonia is a good thing because it stops people from acting out their dreams and hurting themselves and others. For sleep walkers, it means Atonia isn’t working as deeply as it should and they’re able to move around and do some funny and weird things in their sleep.
NREM is Non Rapid Eye Movement. This is when your body kicks into self healing and repair mode. A cycle of NREM and REM lasts around an hour and a half but you alternate between them. You have more NREM sleep than REM sleep. You generally go through 4 – 5 cycles.
What happens with Sleep Paralysis sufferers, is they wake up in between NREM and REM. They enter a different state of consciousness and this is when they have visions, including paranormal activity and can feel the paralysis in their body.
What Causes Sleep Paralysis?
There has been research into this sleep disorder but nothing specific has been found to explain why it happens. One theory mentioned is that one part of the brain is awake while the rest of the brain is still asleep and dreaming. The awake part of the brain see the dreams from the other part of the brain as hallucinations.
Sleep Paralysis is not a medical problem it’s an emotional and psychological problem. It’s not a mental illness either. I’ve said it’s psychological because it plays on your mind between what’s real and unreal. For those who endures it night after night and multiple times during the night, it causes a lot of stress.
There are contributing factors that increase the chances of sleep paralysis, but there’s no known cause. The contributing factors include:
- Sleep disorders including Narcolepsy
- Sleeping on your back
- Body aches and pains that keep you awake
- Irregular sleep routine
- Sleep deprivation and exhaustion
- Medication side effects
- Substance abuse
- Hereditary sleep disorder conditions
- Stress and anxiety
The Best Treatment for Sleep Paralysis
There’s no medication you can take to stop or get rid of Sleep Paralysis. Hypnotherapy is the best treatment for Sleep Paralysis because the underlying issue is being conscious and unconscious at the wrong time. Hypnotherapy is based on changing your levels of consciousness and reprogramming your reactions, feelings and behaviour. Hypnosis can teach you how to control your mind control so you can redirect your imagination to something more pleasant when you dream.
Hypnotherapy can teach you how to get through Sleep Paralysis so you can let go of the fear and learn what’s real and what isn’t real, as it’s happening. You will learn how to feel calm and how to create a deeper level of sleep. Hypnotherapy is also excellent for depression and anxiety which are also triggers for Sleep Paralysis.
If you experience Sleep Paralysis then I urge you to make an appointment for Hypnotherapy to help you get through it. Sleep is not something you can choose to do or not do. You need to sleep and the less sleep you get the higher chance you have of enduring Sleep Paralysis.
When you’ve learned how to use hypnotherapy to get past Sleep Paralysis, you’ll find that you feel calm and relaxed. Your sleeping will improve and you’ll sleep deeper. That means, you’ll sleep through the Atonia (paralysis) stage and wake up when it’s over, just like other people who don’t have sleeping disorders. You can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day.
Don’t speed another night in terror. Book an appointment online now and get back to a peaceful nights sleep.